A Black Female Medical Student

Like A Fish Outta Water….. :-)

Posted on: October 12, 2008

I go to a Top 20 institution, and most of my classmates came from prestigious undergrads; I have quite a few classmates from Harvard. I definitely felt intimidated when I first got here, because I went to a small HBCU in the South. I loved my experience, and if I had the choice, I would do it again. Still, my undergraduate experience was very different from a lot of my classmates, some of whom had no idea what an HBCU is.

I had a conversation with the Dean of Multicultural Affairs, and he told me that the medical school had not had very good success with graduates from HBCUs, leading me to think that the small representation of HBCU here might be intentional. While they have had students from HBCUs in the past, they have not had many, and I believe I am the only student they have ever had from my undergrad.

Anyways, I do feel some pressure to do well here, because my performance here could very well influence their attitude towards HBCU students in the future. I would hate for a talented and hardworking student’s application to be called into question because of my performance here. So I tried to work a little harder this week. I think it paid off, because I scored higher than the class average for the first time on the test this week.

Unfortunately we’re almost done with Anatomy so it doesn’t mean much, but I hopefully will take this attitude with me through the rest of the year. I came in here with the expectation that I wasn’t as competitive a student as the rest of my classmates, and that’s wrong. While there is a steeper learning curve to step up to, that is the case for anyone who enters med school. We’re all new at this lol.

My lack of confidence in myself and my abilities isn’t new. There was a point in my life when I had a very low self-esteem and was always putting myself down. My self-esteem isn’t low anymore, but many people do disparage the education at HBCUs, and I think I allowed myself to internalize that.

We may have come from different places, some of my classmates may have come from prestigious backgrounds, some from lots of money, some from exotic places, but we’re all here. My experiences may be different, less glossy, but it doesn’t make them any less relevant. I forgot that, and I think it showed in my grades.

Either way, I’m on an upward trend, and I believe it will continue. My goal is to score above 90% on my next 2 exams. I mean, above average is cool, but not cool enough.  I have one next Friday and the other a week from Monday so I have quite a bit of studying to get through.

Oh and in response to that last comment, in the words of Eric Cartman: “Whateva! Whateva! *snaps fingers*, I do what I want!”

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3 Responses to "Like A Fish Outta Water….. :-)"

“I scored higher than the class average for the first time on the test this week.”

Congratulations and keep up the good work.

And remember it’s not where you come from, it’s where you’re going that counts.

I have been following your blog for a while now and this brotha is really impressed. I am also in the process of applying so you don’t know how much it feels to know that someone like me can do this and so can I. Keep your eyes on the prize and I wish you the best. You have a fan club rooting for you now.

Thanks…. I really do appreciate it. 🙂

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